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PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e51744. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051744. Epub 2012 Dec 14.

Photomechanical wave-driven delivery of siRNAs targeting intermediate filament proteins promotes functional recovery after spinal cord injury in rats.

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  • 1Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Keio University, Yokohama, Japan.

Abstract

The formation of glial scars after spinal cord injury (SCI) is one of the factors inhibiting axonal regeneration. Glial scars are mainly composed of reactive astrocytes overexpressing intermediate filament (IF) proteins such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin. In the current study, we delivered small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) targeting these IF proteins to SCI model rats using photomechanical waves (PMWs), and examined the restoration of motor function in the rats. PMWs are generated by irradiating a light-absorbing material with 532-nm nanosecond laser pulses from a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser. PMWs can site-selectively increase the permeability of the cell membrane for molecular delivery. Rat spinal cord was injured using a weight-drop device and the siRNA(s) solutions were intrathecally injected into the vicinity of the exposed SCI, to which PMWs were applied. We first confirmed the substantial uptake of fluorescence-labeled siRNA by deep glial cells; then we delivered siRNAs targeting GFAP and vimentin into the lesion. The treatment led to a significant improvement in locomotive function from five days post-injury in rats that underwent PMW-mediated siRNA delivery. This was attributable to the moderate silencing of the IF proteins and the subsequent decrease in the cavity area in the injured spinal tissue.

PMID:
23272155
PMCID:
PMC3522723
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0051744
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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